Temple and Family History Leadership
The Role of Coordinating Meetings in Temple and Family History Work

The Role of Coordinating Meetings in Temple and Family History Work

2019 Temple and Family History Leadership Instruction • February 28, 2019 • Conference Center Theater

[Elder David A. Bednar]

Brothers and sisters, the Spirit, the spontaneity, of what we have just seen—and hopefully the simplicity—needs to occur again and again and again all over the earth.

Elder Foster serves as the Executive Director of the Family History Department, and I told him before this gathering that I would invite him to express the wish of his heart. Elder Foster, please.

[Elder Bradley D. Foster]

Thank you, Elder Bednar. We pray about this all the time. This would be the wish of our heart: that we would listen and do as Elder Renlund’s talked about, to call this new calling of a ward temple and family history leader. And then bishops, have them recorded in your Clerk and Leader Resources. We need to know who they are and then we can talk to them.

And then have everybody have the opportunity to learn about the family tree app and have it downloaded. This blesses people, as Elder Stevenson demonstrated. First, to discover who they are, which will lead you to discover who your family is, which ultimately will lead you to discover how you’re connected to your Heavenly Father in that story. Please, do that and everyone will be blessed. Thank you.

[Elder Bednar]

Thank you, Elder Foster.

Elder Renlund, anything you’d like to add as we prepare to conclude? I’m going to stay here.

[Elder Dale G. Renlund]

Just to say that the family tree app is like a gateway drug. It’s almost as if it should have a warning.

[Elder Bednar]

This is a doctor telling you this!

[Elder Renlund]

Because it’s addictive! And the other thing that’s not on the app, there’s no button that says, “Feel Guilty.” It’s amazing, because if we have people with their account, they’ll be helped, just as you taught us. And I think it’s just a remarkable thing—the Lord has opened the way to make this possible.

[Elder Bednar]

Elder Stevenson, please. Any final thoughts you want to convey?

[Elder Gary E. Stevenson]

Thank you, Elder Bednar. You know, we talk about technology so often, and often as we’re talking about technology we’re talking about the hazards and the worries and the concerns and the screen time. And here we are, together, talking about technology in such a positive way, and all of the positive elements and aspects. It seems that this is a place where technology is filling the measure of its creation. And so we should be embracing it and letting our children and families embrace it as well. Thank you.

[Elder Bednar]

We conclude with this statement from the Prophet Joseph Smith: “The building up of Zion is a cause that has interested the people of God in every age; it is a theme upon which prophets, priests and kings have dwelt with peculiar delight; they have looked forward with joyful anticipation to the day in which we live; and fired with heavenly and joyful anticipations they have sung and written and prophesied of this our day; but they died without the sight; we are the favored people that God has made choice of to bring about the Latter-day glory; it is left for us to see, participate in and help to roll forward the Latter-day glory …

“A work that God and angels have contemplated with delight for generations past; that fired the souls of the ancient patriarchs and prophets; a work that is destined to bring about the destruction of the powers of darkness, the renovation of the earth, the glory of God, and the salvation of the human family.”1

Unitedly the three of us who serve in the Temple and Family History Department, all of the members of the Quorum of the Twelve who are seated on the stand—I give voice to our united witness of the truthfulness, the divinity, and the reality of this work. We invoke upon you the blessing that you may see, that you may participate in, and that you may be blessed both now and throughout eternity by the lessons that you learn and through the service that you give. In the sacred name of the Lord Jesus Christ, amen.


  1. Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith (2007), 186, 515.